Welcome to a brand new Great Smitten feature: Sister Adventures.
Because my sister (-in-law) married my husband’s brother, she now lives just an hour away from me. In England. Weird, I know.
Because we’re currently living an hour apart, in a beautiful country, less than an hour’s train ride outside of one of the most amazing cities on the planet, we’ve decided to take on the task of exploring the parts of England we’ve never seen before. Most of our explorations will probably take place in London (there’s just so much to see), but I’m sure we’ll explore other parts of this beautiful country too. It’s a beautiful place, and for this season, we have the privilege of exploring it together.
Now, without further ado, may I present to you…
We asked a few friends what parts of London might be worth seeing for a couple of girls who’ve done the usual tourist attractions – Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, etc. – and more than one mentioned Greenwich. What no one thought to mention was that there you can actually see where the Prime Meridian (the line to which global time is referenced. Greenwich Mean Time ring a bell?) runs through Greenwich Park.
I rode the smelly tube all the way to the other side of London, and missed the Prime Meridian. I’m such a fool.
At least I learned my lesson: next time, research.
Anyway, we started in Chesham, which is…
a) where Simon is from.
b) where we lived during our first year of marriage.
c) where Catherine (my sister) now lives with Dan (Simon’s brother)
…and took our carefully planned out, stroller-friendly route to Greenwich.
We were excited. I even dressed Adlai in his baseball outfit just so we’d look even more like American tourists.
Unlike me, Catherine had done her research and found out there were some very cool independent shops in Greenwich, including this little gem…
…a treasure trove of old records, dusty books, vintage toys and other weirdery. I could’ve spent hours in there.
There wasn’t room for the stroller, so Catherine and I had to take turns standing outside with Adlai.
He was not amused.
At a shop next door called Stitches & Daughters, we spoke to the beautiful shop girl, who squealed when we told her we were married to brothers. She told us to “have a wander” up a street called Royal Hill, and get a coffee at the Argentinian café at the top.
And then, because I wanted to impress my friend Ryan, who spent several months in Argentina in college, I did the acceptable thing to do in an Argentinian café and forewent the coffee in favor of maté.
(Don’t worry, Mom: it’s tea, not drugs.)
We found a few nice independent clothing shops, and one of my favorites was called Joy. It had pretty dresses…
…and a pretty dressing room in which to try them on.
Next, we found a baby shop called Beauty & the Bib. The lady who owns the shop designs all the clothing herself…
…and her strawberry bib is a London icon.
After our train ride, our hike up Royal Hill, and our shop-hopping, we were in need of some refreshment, so we pulled Adlai’s buggy up to a café with outdoor seating and…well…refreshed ourselves.
At which point I said something hilarious.
And then took these very natural photos of Catherine and Adlai.
Then, I asked Catherine to take a few of me and Adlai because I’ve noticed recently that all my pictures are of other people and my baby. That’s what happens when you’re the one with codependent relationship with your camera.
She snapped a few, and they were nice, but my favorite was this one, which is less of Adlai and me and more of him and my bosom.
See that look on his face? The one that says, “Mama, London’s nice, but can we go home now”?
Yeah, that about sums it up.